Educational Research and Reviews

  • Abbreviation: Educ. Res. Rev.
  • Language: English
  • ISSN: 1990-3839
  • DOI: 10.5897/ERR
  • Start Year: 2006
  • Published Articles: 2006

Full Length Research Paper

Favouring new indigenous leadership: Indigenous students attending higher education in Mexico

Manuel Lopez Delgado
  • Manuel Lopez Delgado
  • Institute of Social Sciences and Administration, Humanities Department, Autonomous University of Ciudad Juarez, Mexico.
  • Google Scholar

  •  Received: 22 March 2016
  •  Accepted: 06 September 2016
  •  Published: 23 November 2016


The opportunities to attend higher education in Mexico have traditionally been offered to the middle class population since around 30% of students who finish high school are able to attend higher education. The main reason for this low attendance is the poverty in which much of the population lives and the lack of higher education institutions in rural areas. Low attendance to higher education is accentuated in marginalised indigenous groups. Migration from the rural areas to the cities over the years has enabled that recently, some indigenous students pursue higher education as a way to improve their social and economic opportunities. Indigenous students attending higher education in urban areas have to face additional challenges given that they speak their own native language, they come from a different culture, usually have a history of poor academic achievement, and face discrimination. In the Autonomous University of Ciudad Juarez (UACJ), an urban university on the Mexico-US border, was implemented a programme to support indigenous students attending the UACJ to favour their academic success. This programme also aims to increase the number of indigenous students attending the UACJ to develop them as professionals and leaders to impact positively their communities. This paper presents the findings of a qualitative study using participant observation and semi-structured interviews as the data collection methods to explore the implementation of the programme. Findings of collected data were grouped in two main themes: progresses and challenges of this programme.

Key words: Indigenous leadership, higher education, Mexico.